Forced to twiddle their thumbs through the lucrative summer concert season while singer Scott Weiland pried himself away from drugs in rehab, Stone Temple Pilots finally hit the road with their newly non-fried frontman.
“It’s a pleasure to see him wake up in the morning and actually have a smile on his face and absorbing and enjoying what we’re doing,” STP’s Robert DeLeo said.
“I don’t know what will happen tomorrow or next week,” Weiland said. “I could be strung out again, but right now I’m enjoying my life, and every moment I’m onstage with the band we look at each other and smile and it’s like, ‘I love you guys.’ ”
Hitting shelves was the new book “The Making of Evita,” which included an introduction by Madonna and chronicled the 85 costume changes she had for the film “Evita,” involving 45 pairs of shoes, 56 pairs of earrings, 39 hats and 42 different hairstyles. Those wanting to look this way themselves could scurry off to Bloomingdale’s department store in New York City, which had installed an Evita boutique with decidedly non-peon prices.
“It’s a little high for being 100% polyester,” one shopper said about an item of clothing. “It’s a little high.”
There was also a new line of Estee Lauder makeup inspired by the movie, as well a shade of lipstick similar to that worn by Madonna’s Evita.
With all this high-end merchandise, it seemed a Madonna wannabe’s life was much simpler back in the ’80s, when a penny-pinching Madonna fan could emulate her look rather inexpensively at such places as the Madonna Boutique at Macy’s in New York. Ah, the days of 10-for-a-dollar rubber bracelets and mesh half-shirts …
Before reaching the top of the charts in 1996 with the song “No Diggity,” Blackstreet member, producer and writer Teddy Riley created a new genre of music in the ’80s combining R&B vocals and hip-hop beats called new jack swing. Riley’s first foray into music, though, started on the streets of Harlem in New York City.
“I’m from the rap world,” Riley said. “I came up with rap when [Grandmaster] Flash was rockin’ the beat box. I was rocking the beat box too. I was just underground, down low. Came out there with my little Casio and my Carousel and rocked in the park and that’s what made me continue doing music.”
In 1988, Riley embarked on his own, turning his attention toward R&B and forming the trio Guy. Two platinum albums later, Guy disbanded and Riley went on to produce and write hits for Wreckx-N-Effect, Michael Jackson and Bobby Brown. Brown’s tune (“My Prerogative”) was, in fact, a collaboration with future Blackstreet member Chauncey Hannibal.
Riley and Hannibal kept their partnership going by forming Blackstreet in 1993, and in ’96, Blackstreet released their album Another Level with two new members, Eric Williams and Mark Middleton.
“Me and Chauncey used to sing together years ago, singing gospel, and we always said if one of us made it the other would go back to help him out,” Williams said. “And that’s exactly what happened when the other two guys left the group.”
“Through a mutual friend of Teddy and myself, he let me know Blackstreet was looking for new members,” Middleton said. “So I came down and auditioned and the rest in history.”
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